It’s all about the light

I met Mary Barlow at a networking event in Kansas City. She needed photos to update her business page, MB Marketing, and I needed some marketing help. So we decided to trade services. Mary wanted casual, yet professional photos that could be used in a variety of ways for her business. So we went looking for the light. A sunny day and nice window light made it work.

Photographing friends is hard

I love to photograph people. In my photo business, I shoot family photos, senior portraits, baby and maternity photos ~ capturing moments that I feel privileged to document. But photographing my friends — the pressure is on! I’m confidant shooting candids, but portraits make me nervous. When it all comes together on a perfect fall afternoon with a beautiful family, nothing could be sweeter. I love capturing photo moments!

Karate Moments

Catching a well-placed kick or an expressive face shouting their ki-a gives me a rush, but looking for those away-from-the-action moments is what I love about photographing karate tournaments. So it was very special to me when a parent commented on my gallery from the Midwest Open 2017, “you certainly have a gift. I love the action shots but the candids are something special. You always seem to catch those incredible moments.” Capturing moments is my joy.

To see the full gallery of images, go to


Visiting a sweet suite at Arrowhead

It felt like old times as I loaded up my cameras and followed the Operation Breakthrough kids onto the field at Arrowhead Stadium where they met up with their buddy Travis Kelce. The kids were treated to pregame meet n greet with Kelce and several of his teammates who shook hands and gave away gloves they had signed. Then we went to Kelce’s suite and watched the game. Sweet! My photos appeared on the blog for Kelce’s foundation, which supports Operation Breakthrough, an inner-city daycare.


Butterfly Beauty

Sometimes patience and persistence works in a photographer’s favor. After spending two hours wandering around the butterfly room at Powell Gardens, I was the only visitor left in the room. I was talking with the monitor and told her I was happy with my photos, but I didn’t have a good one of the blue butterfly. She pointed to the corner and said if I was careful, I could go behind the bushes because the blue ones liked to gather there. Ahhhhh nice, I shot photos until closing time. Thanks for the access.

Operation Breakthrough has my heart

I have so much fun working with the children at Operation Breakthrough, and my good buddy, Jennifer. The kids there are bright and beautiful and curious. Oh, so curious! I shot the photos for their fundraising brochure this summer to fund the summer school agers program. Then I went to their talent show to photograph their performance. What fun!

I wish I had a million dollars so I could give the daycare everything they need for their kids. I’ll have to settle for donating my time and photos so others can be generous. I hope sharing these smiles brings them many donations.

Chewbacca at KCDC



 The Official KCDC Wrap UP

The Stackify booth at the Kansas City Developers Conference lured a steady stream of participants eager for a free massage or a turn at the beanbag toss game to win a “Developers against Humanity” card game. They left the booth with an appreciation of the free software, Prefix, but we gained a deeper understanding of the challenges that developers face in their day to day jobs.

More than 1,500 developers from the Midwest gathered at KCDC for the two-day event to hear more than 80 speakers and pick up some tips and learn new things they could implement in their positions. We had some great conversations and are excited to share just a few of the conversations from the developers who came by the booth.

We love developers and we love Kansas City. That makes the Kansas City Dev Con a killer combo for us. Boon and all the organizers did a fantastic job this year. For those that missed out on our Prefix can toss game with Chewie or the Jedi chair massages, maybe we’ll bring them back next year. When asked about the day-to-day challenges he faces in his job, Matt Breitkreutz, a web applications engineer at Children’s Mercy Hospital responded.


Matt Breitkreutz from Children's Mercy Hospital Web Applications engineer

“We have communication gaps and expectation gaps. We have a backlog of work and any resources that help us solve that we’ll look at.”




We also had the opportunity to talk to many .NET developers that hadn’t yet tried Prefix, our free .NET profiler. After learning more about Prefix at the booth, Rebekah Patterson, a .NET developer with NIC Inc., said she had heard about the free program but wanted more information.

“We need solutions to help us analyze the problems,” Patterson said. To help her build a better developer career, she tries to learn about the newest apps and software.


Rebekah Patterson, a .NET developer with NIC Inc.

“I like coming to conferences like this. I take classes and look at websites, and I’m always trying to stay current on what’s new.”



Michael Jones listened to Jordan Crowder explain the object of the beanbag toss game—to knock down the stack of cans while wearing blacked-out glasses, similar to the difficulty of trying to find bugs in code without being able to see them. Then Jones tried his hand at the game and knocked down the cans. The software developer at NIC Inc. said building better performing applications is important to him.

“I like the idea of Prefix, it helps you verify that you coded correctly,” he added.


While Sneha Desai, a software engineer at Cerner, listened to Shimmens talk about Prefix, her co-worker Vamsi Krishna Guntupalli tried to knock the cans down with a different challenge, wearing a Chewbacca mask. He was able to hit the display after a few tries, and took home a copy of the card game. Not to be left out, another Cerner developer Kiran kumar Vuyyuru also tried on the mask and knocked down the stack.

The consensus among conference attendees who stopped at the Stackify booth was summed up by Desai after she gathered information about Prefix.

“This is pretty innovative,” said Desai. “Massage and a game, very nice.”